Verizon investing in fiber to create favorable economics
Verizon is currently offering mobile 5G in two markets–Chicago and Minneapolis–with plans to activate next-generation cellular in parts of the 30 cities by the end of the year. At the same time, Verizon is deploying fiber in more than 60 areas and is preparing to restart its 5G Home fixed wireless services later this year with long-term ambitions of covering 30 million homes.
As it executes on its network plans, Verizon is making the most of its capital dollars in what Adam Koeppe, SVP for technology strategy and planning, described as an “integrated engineering process.”
Speaking in May during the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s Connectivity Expo, Koeppe said, “We’ve made a conscious effort to really pair our wireless engineering with a fiber engineering process and what
that’s allowed us to do is pursue over 60 markets around the country. We’re going to actually be building fiber into the footprint and, you know, truthfully, serving our own needs if you will from a
frontal and backhaul perspective. That’s a very integrated engineering process that creates tremendous synergy on our end and allows for very rapid deployment.”
Back in 2016, Verizon announced its One Fiber initiative; the initial deployment was focused on the Boston area and included plans to invest $300 million over six years. In 2017, the operator announced a three-year agreement with Corning that contemplates the purchase of up to 12.4 million miles of optical fiber every year from 2018 to 2020 with a minimum purchase amount of $1.05 billion. Roughly half-way through that
agreement, Verizon is building out fiber in more than 60 markets.
Verizon Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Kyle Malady, speaking June 20 at the 2019 Wells Fargo 5G Forum, discussed the fiber investment–“We wanted owner’s economics.”
He continued, discussing the intersection of fiber and increasingly dense networks: ““As the networks flatten and the antennas get smaller and you put them lower, I think the best way to characterize it is frankly wireless becomes fiber with antennas hanging off of it essentially. That’s why we decided we wanted to go big into fiber. It made sense to us because we’re…going to be densifying 4G. We saw 5G coming. And we see a host of other uses for the fiber.”
For a deeper dive into current network densification trends, including small cells, fiber, policy and spectrum, download this report.
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